This teen is going viral for DIY'ing a $4 thrift-store dress into her 'dream prom dress'

You don't have to spend a fortune to look your best at prom, as demonstrated by blogger Amber Scholl. (Photo: Getty Images)
You don’t have to spend a fortune to look your best at prom, as demonstrated by blogger Amber Scholl. (Photo: Getty Images)

Promgoers are learning how to live lavish on a budget thanks to Amber Scholl, a blogger who has gone viral for turning a $4 thrift-store dress into her “dream prom dress” with just a needle, thread, and a bag of craft supplies.

Scholl shared photos of her dress transformation on Twitter. Using lace, sequins, and scissors, she turned a basic black dress into a galaworthy gown with a train and plunging neckline. “I love how this dress brings the drama,” Scholl said, and we couldn’t agree more.

“Number one rule of fashion is if it fits good it looks good,” Scholl tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I knew I could turn [the dress] into something fabulous! I love a blank canvas because I can just see the possibilities so clearly in my head when I look at something.”

More than 20,000 Twitter followers have responded to Scholl’s DIY, including cult-favorite beauty YouTuber James Charles, who sums up the look in three words: “Omfg my fav.” One fan even wrote in to share her own DIY prom dress story in the comments. Others are complimenting Scholl’s dressmaking skills as “designer-worthy” and even predicting that she’ll end up making custom red carpet gowns one day.

Scholl also documented her DIY process for her YouTube channel. “Disclaimer: I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never really done this before,” she explains — then she goes on to pull together a red carpet-worthy look.

In the eight-minute video, she visits Goodwill in Los Angeles to pick out a dress, then heads to a local trim and bead store to pick out embellishments. “I don’t know what this is, but I need to use this,” she says about a swath of black feathers. Scholl also buys black crystal appliqué, glue, and a needle and thread.

With her materials assembled, Scholl turns the dress’s flared skirt into a tailored, bodycon shape. Next, she adds the crystals over the bodice, saving a triangle-shaped piece for her matching necklace. Finally, she sews the feathers to the skirt to create a train.

The look came together for much less than the typical department store prom dress. Aside from the $4 dress, Scholl spent $100 on crystals and an undisclosed amount on the feathers.

Scholl decided to do a DIY prom dress tutorial dedicated to her 18-year-old YouTube subscribers who are going to prom this year. “I’m 24, yikes,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle, but I knew it would be fun to show my subscribers how to get creative and do it for less. There’s no reason prom and life in general can’t be made fabulous on any budget.”

Scholl has received heaps of praise for her creation — but she’s also been bombarded by unsolicited comments about her body. Her YouTube comments section is filled with people writing in to “praise” her physique. She gathered a few of the worst offenders into a tweet with the caption “I love the internet.”

“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Scholl says of the comments. “I spent years hating my body in high school struggling with eating disorders and all sorts of other body image issues, and now that I finally have learned to love it no one can take that away from me, even internet trolls.”

The silver lining: The enthusiastic comments far outweigh any rude ones, and Scholl has inspired creativity (and budget-friendly shopping) in anyone headed to prom. As Scholl herself describes it, “Versace who? This is Amber Scholl’s thrifted couture.”

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